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Monday, October 3, 2022

Bea's Birthday Booze: Glenfarclas 1965-2005 Scott's Selection

Beatrice turns five years old this week. This means she will promptly exit the fearsome, frightful, forever fours, right? Please? We just completed a very bumpy weekend together, and I'm navigating food poisoning so I'll have something cute to say about my youngest on another post.

According to a whiskyfun post from 15(!) years ago, today's independently bottled whisky caused some trouble because Scott's Selection dared list Glenfarclas's name on the label. Serge also loved the heck out of the whisky. Did I also love the heck out of it?

Distillery: Glenfarclas
Ownership: J&G Grant
Region: Speyside (Central)
Bottler: Scott's Selection
Age: ~40 years (1965 - 2005)
Maturation: "Oakwood casks" (yep)
Outturn: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 48.5%
(A big thank you to Cobo!!!)


This nose has four quadrants. First, the old stuff: dunnage, mothballs and dusty leather. Second, the fruits: guava and pineapple juices. Third, desserts: toffee and milk chocolate. Fourth, the curios: rotting kelp on the beach and calamine lotion. Sometimes these zones cross, and sometimes they segregate. It works, though.

Sadly the palate falls short of the nose. It's a bit dusty, sweet and bitter at the start, with notes of anise, limes, burlap and plums in the mid- to background. But then oak takes over. Beyond the woody bitterness and tannin, I can sort out a few new notes like soil, coffee grounds and baking chocolate.

It finishes with menthol, wormwood and black coffee after early sips. Later sips turn into a mix of lime juice and oak juice.


No, I was not smitten with this one, though if the palate matched the nose this would have been quite an entertaining sipper. But also, I'm not a diehard fan of ultra-aged Glenfarclas, with their 43yo cognac cask being a rare exception. The spirit seems to be hyper extractive, which works well for their younger sherried products, but starts pulling up splinters by the fourth decade. Cobo, who generously provided this sample, was also less enamored of it than ol' WF was. The nose was what salvaged it for me, but, again, whisky is made for drinking.

Availability - Secondary market?
Pricing - ????
Rating - 83